Are we bored yet on hearing the same things about social media? Don’t get me wrong – social media has received its due fame but the question is whether it is telling the complete story. Social may have changed the face of marketing but its story is biased towards the minority that is active and participative on various social platforms. Are most of us like this commune? Remember the 1:9:90 rule?
Let’s take a step back and look beyond social for a minute. Courtesy technology, connected has a new meaning. Connected stuff (I am going to categorise this as the latest buzzword for the season) begins where social ends, because it is designed to get people to take part whether they share or not. Connected stuff will mean that the world would be tuned into what an individual is doing. And it won’t just be about witty one-liners or photographic skills or other such big sharers. It leverages the reality that everything we do generates data. This data is generating stories that lead to connections with other people, in other places with newer stories. Brands have realised this, which is why they are now beginning to use this data to give us personalised responses that automates the marketing messaging.
This has both the good and the bad side to it. On the one hand, consumers will enjoy better service from brands as their data is tracked but on the other hand, it means brands may have more access to the consumer than they would like. This could well lead to the very opposite of CRM (customer relationship management). It’s not brands strategising on how they talk to consumers but consumers deciding on how they’re going to talk to brands. Consumers will also decide who they want to hear from.
At times, it is fair to say we are totally naïve about the amount of data that is captured about us and the value it holds. That being said, brands that are not in the data tracking game yet may well be running to dead ends. It’s only a matter of time before we realise the value of our data and expect brands to know our name and get the message right. May be even expect more than that.
Wearable tech forms a part of the ‘connected’ future story. At the moment, my phone can indicate you where I am and what I’m doing, but a wearable piece of tech can speak volumes on how I’m feeling or how healthy I am or how hard I’m working. Wearable tech is another interface and route for brands to personalise service.
There is a massive difference between data we have access to and data we can do anything useful with. Currently brands are still using traditional media companies to find out what their consumers are doing, despite owning active communities of fans that they could listen to, on social media. Marketing research and methodology is locked into rules that were in place 30 years ago and people haven’t developed the systems to handle connected data. Perhaps we will soon see a raft of new companies willing to swoop in and make money by making the best use of consumer data. It’s still early days but we need to be ready for the jump.
The future will be interesting and much more complex than we can think. Media dinosaurs are trying their best to keep things at the bay but Google Glass, Pebble, Brick phone etc are just the beginning of something that’s yet to start. Media in the era of hyper connectivity will be so different that no amount of serving banners or print ads will suffice the need of the 2020 consumers. We will probably evolve to a new advertising format that will be known as PLOMOTION. The acceptance of IOT (internet of things) is actually far closer than it feels like.
Just to give you something more to think about, here is a small study sponsored by ARM, which gives a sense of the future.
What do you think ads will look like in an era dominated by IOT? Would you still like to be searching for anything or just want your devices to know what you need?
I think, few truly smart gadgets will not be half bad…
The author, Arnab Mitra, is the Co-Founder of LIQVD Asia.
Mr Mitra is a Contributor to Digital Market Asia’s editorial commentary; more of his views can be found under his column Undercurrent…